The trade between the Philadelphia Eagles and Detroit Lions, involving a swap of running backs Ronnie Brown and Jerome Harrison, has been cancelled due to Harrison failing his physical with the Eagles.
Back in July, the Eagles had a deal in place to send DT Brodrick Bunkley to the Cleveland Browns for a fifth-round draft pick. However, the deal fell through because Bunkley didn’t pass the physical.
Bunkley was then shipped to Denver for an undisclosed 2013 draft pick. That’s a big difference in compensation (value-wise).
Apparently, Bunkley was healthy enough to pass Denver’s physical a day or two after failing in Cleveland.
This goes to show that each team in the NFL seems to have their own protocol as to what constitutes passing a physical. What I mean is, some of the tests must be highly subjective or some teams just don’t care about a potential problem as much as other teams.
Here is the what a standard NFL physical consists of, as stated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement:
• thorough review of all team physicians and trainer reports for preceding
• external & drums
• reaction to movement & light
• any unusual body marks, i.e. scars, birthmarks
• blood pressure
• heart rate
Examination visually, including stress testing and range of motion for all of
• neck and spine
• knees; also knee jerk
• ankle; check Achilles tendon for abnormalities and by jerk test
Testing of hamstrings and neck
Stress Testing (at physician’s discretion) (Treadmill or bicycle) for
Standard grid. Testing for (including but not limited to):
• Uric Acid
• White Blood Count
• Red Blood Count
• Tay Sachs* *Where applicable. If found,
• Sickle Cell* individual counseling necessary.
Check for (including but not limited to):
• PH Factor
• Renal Failure
• peripheral vision
• standard eye test
Chest X-Ray (at appropriate intervals)
(Only as recommended by AMA standard)
Check for: Tumor
X-Ray all previously injured areas (at physician’s discretion)
The orthopedic portion of the exam is most likely the real key to deciding whether or not a player passes his physical since most injuries are of this nature.
When Bunkley failed his physical in Cleveland, it was thought to be due to his elbow. However, he has been playing for Denver since day one so his injury couldn’t have been that bad.
Jerome Harrison has played sparingly this season so far for Detroit. He was not known to have an injury and the Eagles have not disclosed the reason for his failed physical.
Sometimes I wonder if it’s a case of a team second guessing the trade and just using the “failed physical” excuse to void the deal. We’d like to assume that when a trade is agreed upon, everyone had thought it through and made a rational decision.
However, just like when a bride or groom gets left at the alter, it’s possible that one team gets cold feet and changes their mind. Whatever the case may be, it’s somewhat odd that the Eagles have been a part of two failed trades this year.
Another thing I wonder about is if there are feelings of awkwardness for players returning to their team after a failed trade. How would you feel if your boss attempted to transfer you to another location but it fell through for reasons that didn’t concern you?
Ronnie Brown and Asante Samuel (dangled as trade bait) must feel unwanted by the Eagles. That has to affect them mentally. Yes, it is a business but we’re talking about human nature here.
One has to wonder how these types of things impact the locker room morale. If Ronnie Brown and Asante Samuel are bitter towards the organization, that type of mentality can infect a team like a cancer and spread.
At the very least, things may not be as harmonious and “happy” as they could be otherwise. And that wouldn’t be good for a group of players that are still trying to gel together and become a “team.”
Anyhow, welcome back Ronnie Brown! We didn’t mean all the bad things we said as you were leaving. Your 38 yards rushing and ill-advised decision to pass the ball while being tackled weren’t all that bad…honest!
Just after posting this article, news broke revealing the reason that Jerome Harrison failed his physical. Apparently he has a brain tumor!
This trade may have saved his life. It’s a blessing that they found it now before it grew larger. It’s odd to say that Harrison is a lucky man…but…he is a lucky man.
As for this article, it is now irrelevant since there was an obviously legitimate reason for the failed physical. Shocking, though.